2009.04.25: April 25, 2009: Headlines: COS - Iran: News Blaze: For Many, Ties to Peace Corps Service in Iran Remain

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Iran: Peace Corps Iran : Peace Corps Iran: Newest Stories: 2009.06.22: June 22, 2009: Headlines: COS - Iran: The Iranian: Jahanshah Javid writes: Recalling the Peace Corps in Iran : 2009.04.25: April 25, 2009: Headlines: COS - Iran: News Blaze: For Many, Ties to Peace Corps Service in Iran Remain

By Admin1 (admin) (141.157.8.130) on Saturday, May 02, 2009 - 9:42 am: Edit Post

For Many, Ties to Peace Corps Service in Iran Remain

For Many, Ties to Peace Corps Service in Iran Remain

Retired Ambassador John Limbert taught English in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan Iran, from 1964 to 1966. Limbert served as a U.S. diplomat throughout the Middle East, including as ambassador to Mauritania. Despite the brutal experience of being an embassy hostage in Tehran from 1979 to 1981, Limbert's affection for the Iranian people remains undiminished. "Iran has been part of my life for 40 years," Limbert said in a 2006 interview on National Public Radio. His wife is Iranian and both his children were born there; he and his wife still speak Persian at home. Both Limbert and Hillmann are proponents of increased dialogue between the United States and Iran. Limbert has written a report for the U.S. Institute of Peace called "Negotiating with the Islamic Republic of Iran." Hillmann has proposed a low-key exchange program with former Peace Corps volunteers fluent in Persian. Hillmann says, "The greatest service the Peace Corps provided people like me ... was its readiness to let me do my own thing, my job, my social life, my travel, and, most importantly, my changing into the person I became when my Peace Corps days ended."

For Many, Ties to Peace Corps Service in Iran Remain

For Many, Ties to Peace Corps Service in Iran Remain

By Howard Cincotta

Former volunteers recall transformative experiences
Washington - Donna Shalala felt like many students after graduating from college. "I was tired of school and I wanted adventure," she recalled in a newspaper interview more than 40 years after serving with the Peace Corps as an English teacher in a remote Iranian village.

The last U.S. Peace Corps volunteer left Iran in 1976, but even decades later, many of those who served in Iran regard their encounters with the Iranian people and culture as among the most important events of their lives.

"I still think of myself as a Peace Corp volunteer," Shalala said recently in an essay posted on the Peace Corps Web site. "My service in Iran was one of the most important experiences of my youth."

Shalala, former secretary of health and human services in the administration of President Bill Clinton, is now president of the University of Miami.

THE PEACE CORPS IN IRAN

Iran was one of the first countries to welcome the Peace Corps in 1962, a year after President John Kennedy announced what would become one of the signature programs of his administration.

Although the Peace Corps has evolved over the years, its three overarching goals have remained unchanged: provide trained personnel for countries requesting them, promote a better understanding of America, and help Americans gain a better understanding of the world and its peoples.

Since its inception, more than 195,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in more than 130 countries in the areas of education, health and HIV/AIDS, economic and business development, environment, agriculture, technology and youth affairs. Today, there are more than 7,800 Peace Corps volunteers working at 70 posts around the world.

As a former community organizer, President Obama has called on all Americans to "answer a new call to service to meet the challenges of our new century," and proposed expanding the Peace Corps to 16,000 volunteers by 2011. (See "Obama to Expand Volunteerism to Meet Global, Domestic Challenges ( http://www.america.gov/st/foraid-english/2008/Dece mber/20081223141751CLwoD9.472072e-03.html ).")

The Peace Corps in Iran initially focused on education, eventually working with more than 150 teachers and teaching more than 6,000 students in subjects ranging from English to science, according to an official Peace Corps summary. Volunteers helped organize evening classes, started kindergarten programs, and established more than 30 school libraries with donated books.

In the late 1960s, Peace Corps volunteers began several environmental projects to combat pollution and depleted resources in the Caspian Sea. In Tehran, volunteers teamed with urban planners to draw up guidelines for the city's rapid population growth and helped create 45 urban parks.

By the time the program ended in 1976, a total of 1,748 volunteers had served in Iran alongside several thousand Iranian colleagues.

A LIFETIME COMMITMENT

For some volunteers, Peace Corps service has been only one chapter in a lifetime of study and engagement with Iran.

For Michael Hillmann, professor of Persian studies at the University of Texas at Austin, his Peace Corps years at the University of Mashhad changed the course of his professional and personal life.

Hillmann was already headed toward an academic career, but Iran led him to a lifelong engagement with the Persian language, literature and culture. He met his wife, Sorayya, at Mashhad, and their daughter was born in Tehran, where Hillmann was working as a Peace Corps trainer.

"When I teach [T.S.] Eliot's poem The Waste Land, the experience and the enjoyment of thinking and talking about poetry seem the same as when I teach the ghazals of Hafez," Hillmann told America.gov.

Retired Ambassador John Limbert taught English in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan Iran, from 1964 to 1966. Limbert served as a U.S. diplomat throughout the Middle East, including as ambassador to Mauritania.

Despite the brutal experience of being an embassy hostage in Tehran from 1979 to 1981, Limbert's affection for the Iranian people remains undiminished.

"Iran has been part of my life for 40 years," Limbert said in a 2006 interview on National Public Radio. His wife is Iranian and both his children were born there; he and his wife still speak Persian at home.

Both Limbert and Hillmann are proponents of increased dialogue between the United States and Iran. Limbert has written a report for the U.S. Institute of Peace called "Negotiating with the Islamic Republic of Iran." Hillmann has proposed a low-key exchange program with former Peace Corps volunteers fluent in Persian.

Hillmann says, "The greatest service the Peace Corps provided people like me ... was its readiness to let me do my own thing, my job, my social life, my travel, and, most importantly, my changing into the person I became when my Peace Corps days ended."

For more information see the Web sites of the Peace Corps ( http://www.peacecorps.gov/ ), the Peace Corps Association ( http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resource s.former.staycon.npca ) and Connected Peace Corps ( http://community.peacecorpsconnect.org/ ).

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://www.america.gov)
Copyright 2009, NewsBlaze, Daily News




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: April, 2009; Peace Corps Iran; Directory of Iran RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Iran RPCVs





When this story was posted in May 2009, this was on the front page of PCOL:




Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed

 Site Index Search PCOL with Google Contact PCOL Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register

April 19, 2009: Obama's Public Diplomacy Date: April 19 2009 No: 1352 April 19, 2009: Obama's Public Diplomacy
Obama engages Students in Roundtable in Turkey 7 Apr
To Rebuild US-Muslim Relations Obama Is Not Enough 26 Mar
PC Model in Mexico sends Older Specialized PCVs 19 Apr
Peace Corps Needs Top-Down Re-Examination 19 Apr
Peace Corps Returns To Rwanda with 32 PCVs 17 Apr
Read from "First Comes Love Then Comes Malaria" 16 Apr
Does Mike Honda want to head Peace Corps? 15 Apr
Paul Theroux promotes Responsible Tourism 3 Apr
Vice President Biden Meets PCVs In Costa Rica 1 Apr
Vote on Christopher R. Hill delayed by opponents 1 Apr
Joseph Acaba makes First Spacewalk 31 Mar
Petri Vindicated for Advocacy of Direct Loans to Students 30 Mar
Mateo Paneitz devotes life to helping poor in Guatemala 29 Mar
Read from "The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen" 16 Apr
Drew Marinelli makes 6000-mile bicycle trip across US 28 Mar
Senate votes to triple AmeriCorps' ranks 27 Mar
Four Cycling RPCVs have been friends for 45 years 25 Mar
Denice Traina Hopes Hives will Help Harrisburg 24 Mar
"Expand the Band" brings Instruments to South Africa 24 Mar
Maria Shriver testifies on her Father's Alzheimer's 24 Mar
Charles R. Larson donates African collection to UT 23 Mar
Read more stories from March and April 2009.

PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director Date: December 2 2008 No: 1288 PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director
Honduras RPCV Jon Carson, 33, presided over thousands of workers as national field director for the Obama campaign and said the biggest challenge -- and surprise -- was the volume of volunteer help, including more than 15,000 "super volunteers," who were a big part of what made Obama's campaign so successful. PCOL endorses Jon Carson as the man who can revitalize the Peace Corps, bring it into the internet age, and meet Obama's goal of doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011.

Director Ron Tschetter:  The PCOL Interview Date: December 9 2008 No: 1296 Director Ron Tschetter: The PCOL Interview
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter sat down for an in-depth interview to discuss the evacuation from Bolivia, political appointees at Peace Corps headquarters, the five year rule, the Peace Corps Foundation, the internet and the Peace Corps, how the transition is going, and what the prospects are for doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011. Read the interview and you are sure to learn something new about the Peace Corps. PCOL previously did an interview with Director Gaddi Vasquez.



Read the stories and leave your comments.








Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: News Blaze

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Iran

PCOL43755
27


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: